‘인권 불빛 밝혀라’…납북자 송환 염원 촛불행사 열려

황인철 ‘1969년 KAL기 납치피해자가족회’ 대표 “北납치 전세계 공감…더 이상 혼자 아냐”
김성환 기자  |  2016-12-11 14:50
* Dec 23, first application deadline for TNKR Matching session 52 (apply)
* Dec 30, second application deadline for TNKR Matching session 52
* Jan 4, Private event
* Jan 7, TNKR Orientation for Matching session 52 (apply)
* Jan 7, TNKR fundraising brainstorming session
* Jan 7, Refugees submit videos to apply for contest
* Jan 9-13, orientation with speech contest coaches
* Jan 14, TNKR Matching session 52
* Jan 14, Coaches resumes due
* Jan 15, TNKR 1,000 won Book Sale
* Jan 15, TNKR/Korea Times Discussion Club 11 am
* Jan 16, Private event
* Jan 16, Contestants informed of status
* Jan 19, Coaches informed of selections
* Jan 27-30, Lunar New Year
* Jan 29, TNKR/Korea Times Discussion Club 5 pm
* Feb 4, Tutor follow-up meeting
* Feb 14, Press conference
* Feb 25, TNKR 5th English speech contest
Recent events
* Dec 12, Annoucement of TNKR 5th English speech contest (for learners)
* Dec 14, update TNKR FAQ
* Dec 14, Christmas party planning meeting
* Dec 17, TNKR Christmas Concert

A little while ago I had an “off-the-record, no photos allowed” conversation with an influential South Korean who told me that he doubted TNKR would be able to raise money in South Korea. He said that my academic background and professional career in the USA would impress many South Koreans, BUT:

  • TNKR lacks government connections. Most funding for NGOs comes from the government, not individual or company donations.
  • Companies will be afraid of us because we are dealing with NK refugees. Securing government funding would make us seem more stable.
  • South Koreans don’t donate their own money.
  • TNKR lacks an international or Korean celebrity.
  • And… ‘You’re a foreigner. Koreans think you will steal the money they donate and then run away to America.”

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“If you organize a planning meeting for 100 people, but only three people show up, then you know what? You’ve got three people to work with. Get started with them, don’t focus the meeting on the 97 people who aren’t there.”

Korea Times, April 2014, “Man in the mirror, not the magnifying glass”

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The TNKR tutoring machine returned. Today Grace tutored 6 refugees for nine hours, with only a short lunch break. This photo is from yesterday when one of the students canceled. She was hanging out, waiting for her next chance to tutor. Yesterday she tutored 4 refugees for 6 hours. I want her to do tutor reports, but I guess it would be unrealistic to expect her to remember details of each session.

A funny moment was when she politely suggested that I should test the refugees like I did last year at the end of each class. I would do that because they would be comfortable with her, so I wanted to break up the flow, to have the refugees explain what they had just learn as a way to reinforce. I could take Grace’s comment one of two ways:

1) That was great for the refugees or 2) You’re slacking off.

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Another good sign for TNKR is that a group we have worked with before would like to have another event with us. They are in town for other reasons, but met with me today to discuss another joint event. They had many questions about the way TNKR operates by truly putting refugees at the center of our activities.

Three things I really loved: 1) watched the TNKR videos 2) they had specific questions about TNKR 3) they weren’t embarrassed to pose with Mini-Me KC and his miniature co-director.

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I had a great time this morning on Arirang radio’s “Good Morning Seoul.”

A few random notes and observations:

* It was extra special because it was Park Eunhee’s first radio interview–and it was in English! So she was really nervous. Even after the interview was over, she was still nervous.

* I can say with completely confidence I will never give a live interview in Korean. I won’t even bother putting it on a bucket list.

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TNKR Refugee Leadership Council Member 박은희 and TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue Jr. will be featured guests on Arirang Radio‘s “Good Morning Seoul” show tomorrow morning from 8:30 a.m. Eunhee should be speaking in English, so be sure to cheer her on, I think this would be her first radio interview in English.
(This is the world of radio, so we should be on as long as the South Korean president doesn’t resign or get impeached in the morning.)

 

 

 

This man is under a lot of stress. Why? He is in charge of two events this weekend. He usually eats a moderate amount, but he INHALED half of this pizza even before the pizza man had left the office.

It is now 10 pm on a Wednesday night, and he is now focused on arranging many things. I guess it doesn’t help that I have threatened to fire him if there is a poor turnout this weekend. Which will mean no more late night pizzas…
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I had an interesting conversation last night with two graduate school students who are majoring in counseling.

We had a good feeling from the beginning because they had already seen the tvN special about TNKR. They already felt at home as soon as they walked in. They are including NK refugees in their research, so they wanted to talk with TNKR’s co-founders.

They got me to discuss a few things I don’t publicly discuss about TNKR.

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They saw the tvN special, so they weren’t surprised when it was photo time!

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